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Archaeologists Dennis Stanford (left) and Carolina's Al Goodyear inspect stone tools.
Archaeologists Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution (left) and Carolina's Al Goodyear inspect stone tools found at the Topper dig site.

Continued: Topper

“A scientist may work for decades and not find anything extraordinarily rare or exciting, but we’ve had more than our share here as a university research program of these really cutting-edge discoveries,” Goodyear said.

The “Time Team America” crew filmed at the Topper site in early June 2008. Producer Graham Dixon and a 20-member crew followed Goodyear and his team of graduate students and volunteers as they combed the depths of the Pleistocene layers to find Clovis and pre-Clovis artifacts, adding to the extensive artifacts previously excavated.

They also caught up with Arizona geophysicist Dr. Allen West who, with Goodyear in 2007, conducted research to support a theory that a giant comet exploded over North America around 12,900 years ago, killing the large beasts of the day -- the iconic wooly mammoth and mastodon -- and, likely, many of the Clovis people.

PBS calls the program “part extreme adventure, part hard science and part reality show.” Dixon said he wants viewers to have the sensation of being on a dig and eavesdropping on conversations among top scientists.

“‘Time Team’ is about showing the reality of archaeology to the ordinary person and demystifying some of the processes going on,” said Dixon last June during the taping. “We never know what is going to happen over the days we are on a dig. It is very exciting.”

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Time Team America at Topper

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